Friday, July 4, 2014

Banana Cream Pie Bars

Was just sitting around on this 4th of July, watching bad tv, pondering what we had in the kitchen.  Came across the four bananas that were getting close to being too ripe.  Thought about just doing some banana bread or banana muffins, but that seemed more "bready" than I felt like.  Last week, I'd found some pumpkin in the freezer from last fall when we'd roasted and pureed a few pumpkins.  I made a great, hearty crust with oats and nuts, so I figured... why not make some banana cream pie bars using the same crust?  I've never made banana cream pie before, though strangely, that's kind of how I met Justin - it was a topic of conversation.  Then when I was grabbing the vanilla extract, I caught the chocolate chips out of the corner of my eye and decided they'd go into it, too.

Been listening to music all day today.  Lots of Lagwagon, Strung Out, Swingin' Utters.  It was kind of hard to choose a song.  But one album I pulled out today was NOFX's "Punk In Drublic".  Total flashback to my angst filled freshman year in high school.  I remember specifically playing this cassette tape over and over on my boombox while playing Super Nintendo with my little brother.  So I chose "Leave It Alone."   -jen

Time:  30 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy/Medium (it seemed easy to me)
Makes:  12 bars

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons butter (3/4 of a stick), softened
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts of choice (walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, etc) 
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup water, room temp
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 large, ripe bananas, sliced thin
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and butter.  Beat until butter is cut into flour and crumbly.  Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.  Prepare a 13"x 9" (2 qt) baking dish by buttering or coating it with non-stick cooking spray.  Press mixture into the baking dish evenly, coming slightly up the sides (make sure to even out the corners so they're not real thick).  Bake crust at 375 degrees F for 17-20 minutes (until crust is golden brown).  Remove and set on a cooling rack.

While crust is baking, prepare custard by combining sugar, corn starch and salt in a medium sauce pan.  Whisk in cream and water.  Then whisk in egg yolks.  Cook over medium-high heat, continuing to whisk until sauce thickens and boils (about 6 minutes).  Remove from heat and then whisk in butter and vanilla.

Cover the cooled crust with a layer (2 to 2.5) of sliced bananas.  Scoop half of the custard evenly over the layered bananas, and carefully spread across them as evenly as possible.  Repeat a second layer of sliced bananas and custard.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour before serving.


  1. That sounds so good! Justin made a banana cream pie completely from scratch when he was in 5th or 6th grade.

    1. Heheh... I think our first conversation was about banana cream pie. It took him about 6 years of us being together before he finally made one! :) -jen